Yoghurt Health and Weight-Loss Benefits


With the cooperation of Dimitris Grigorakis, Clinical Nutritionist-Dietician, MSc Scientific Director of Dietetic Support & Metabolic Control Centre APISXNANSIS - LOGO DIATROFIS, President of the Greek Dietary Company, www.logodiatrofis.gr, www.activekids.gr, www.care24.gr.

Yoghurt Health and Weight-Loss Benefits

Recent research has confirmed that calcium and other ingredients of yoghurt as well, play an important role in regulating metabolism and reduce body weight. Diets, high in calcium, reduce fat accumulation and accelerate fat’s breakdown. 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D seem to play a significant role in the whole phenomenon, since it regulates calcium ions into adipocytes cells, an important process for lipogenesis and lipolysis (fat breakdown).

Low levels of 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D tend to increase lipogenesis, while the opposite occurs when your nutrition includes vitamin D: lipolysis is increased and lipogenesis is suspended.

In addition vitamin D affects insoulin secretion and biosynthesis of estrogens. Several studies have highlighted the relationship between the adequacy of vitamin D and the prevention of obesity, and the deficiency of vitamin D in obese individuals as well. However, it is not clear whether the deficiency of vitamin D is responsible for obesity or the other way round.

Several intervention studies indicate that the combination of vitamin D and calcium leads to successful weight loss. According to a research conducted by the University of Minnesota, volunteers who consumed products rich in calcium and vitamin D lost significantly more weight, and particularly in the abdomen. According to another research conducted at the University of Tenesi, it was found that people who consumed two servings of yoghurt (500g) per day in conjunction with a balanced diet, lost 22% more weight and 81% more abdominal fat than those who skipped the intermediate meals. In addition, there was no decrease in the muscle mass of participants who consumed yoghurt. The leader of the research, Michael Zemel, said that "The calcium and vitamin D found in yoghurt reduce the secretion of the hormone cortisol, which increases the accumulation of abdominal fat."

Despite the fact that the body synthesizes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, individuals’ levels of vitamin D are low even in Mediterranean countries, particularly in the winter. As a result, it is considered essential to consume products rich in vitamin D, in order to restore its levels in your body.

All in all, it is important to consume 2 servings of yoghurt per day, since it is rich in calcium and vitamin D. This combination will accelerate fat loss compared to a diet that contains no yoghurt at all.

1. Chen M, Pan A, Malik VS, Hu FB. Effects of dairy intake on body weight and fat: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;96:735–47.
2. Zemel MB. Role of calcium and dairy products in energy partitioning and weight Management. Am J Clin Nutr (2004);79(suppl):907S–12S.